A representation of Psyche, taken from the BPS logo

Practice Board

We promote excellence in psychological practice so that everyone can access high quality, evidence-based psychological interventions to enhance their lives, organisations, communities and wider society.


The Practice Board's aims are as follows:

  • Develop a proactive long-term strategy to deliver the highest standards of best practice across the discipline
  • Discuss current issues in psychological practice and engage in regular horizon scanning to proactively identify gaps in practice knowledge
  • Commission task and finish groups and advisory groups to contribute the psychology content for high-quality evidence-based guidance for psychologists
  • Act as a responsive source of expertise for the Policy Unit and the wider BPS

Download the Practice Board Terms of Reference

For more information, email the Practice team.

Practice Board

Workstreams and Advisory Groups

Filling in paperwork

Prescribing Rights for Psychologists

We are considering if there is a need for extending prescribing rights to include qualified statutorily regulated psychologists.

Practice Board

Find out more about our awards


The Practice Board is made up of representatives covering the HCPC protected titles, BPS specialist registers and the devolved nations. View more about each of our members. 

Professor Tony Lavender

Chair: 2023-2026

Professor Tony Lavender

Professor (Emeritus) Tony Lavender M.Phil, PhD, CPsychol, FBPsS is an HCPC registered clinical psychologist who worked for over twenty years in the NHS as a practicing psychologist and as Director of the Salomons Clinical Psychology Programme, in what is now, Salomons Institute of Applied Psychology, Canterbury Christ Church University.

He transferred into University employment in 1996 and went on to become Dean and Pro-Vice Chancellor. As PVC he held corporate responsibility for Research and Equality & Diversity and for periods, Sustainability and Internationalisation. He led the University’s successful 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF) submission. He retired from this role at the end of 2016.

He has been an active member of the BPS for over forty years and chaired a number of Society Committees and Working Groups. He chaired the Committee on Training in Clinical Psychology and, in that role, facilitated the introduction of Clinical Psychology Doctorates. He has represented the Society on workforce development nationally with the Department of Health, NHS Digital and the Home Office. He Jointly Chaired the BPS/Department of Health group looking at ‘New Ways of Working for Applied Psychologists' (2005-7). He is currently the DCP Workforce and Training Lead, a member of the DCP Exec and is actively involved in workforce planning nationally with NHSE/I and HEE.

He has published extensively on services and therapies for people with psychosis and personality disorder, workforce planning, the history of clinical psychology and more recently anorexia. He continues to be involved in research, doctoral supervision, mentoring and organisational consultancy.

James McTaggart

Deputy Chair & Educational Psychology

James McTaggart

James McTaggart trained as an educational psychologist at Dundee University in 2004-6 having previously had a variety of roles including teaching and farm management.

He works as an early years specialist in the Highlands across health, education and third sector services to help improve outcomes for children and families through the application of psychology. Particular interests are in developmental approaches to learning, trauma-informed practice and developing supports for families around attachment and child development.

He provides advice to various Scottish Government agencies including in early years and public health and currently sits on a NICE guidance committee looking at Babies, Children and Young People's Experiences of Healthcare. Pro bono work includes providing advice on the development of children's services and education in Southeast Asia. He is doing a part time PhD on the ontological aspects of deep disagreements about children.

He has mostly been a 'detached' member of the BPS and his interest in joining the Practice Board included a desire to help seek out and include less often heard perspectives, including those of children and young people, and assist in using these to ensure the continued relevance of psychological practice for all.

Dr Yetunde Ade-Serrano

Counselling psychology

Dr Yetunde Ade-Serrano is a chartered and registered Counselling Psychologist who currently works primarily in Independent Practice. She is a mentor, visiting lecturer, clinical supervisor and an external examiner on Counselling Psychology training programmes. Her clinical interests include self-exploration and growth, black women’s identity, African Psychology and Spirituality, and working with Race and Difference across Cultures. 

Dr Geraldine Akerman

Forensic psychology

Geraldine Akerman

Honorary Professor Dr. Geraldine Akerman C.Psychol AFBPsS C.Sci. EuroPsych is an HCPC registered Chartered Psychologist, Chartered Scientist, Deputy Chair of the Division of Forensic Psychology Executive Committee (2020-2022) and member of Cyber Psychology, Independent Psychologists,  and Defense and Security Psychology member networks.

Geraldine is also an Associate Fellow of the BPS, as well as a member of the Professional Practice Board and Co-founder of Let's talk Forensic Psychology, a You Tube channel promoting Forensic psychology as a profession.

Geraldine is a Consultant Forensic Psychologist working for Oxford Health NHS Trust based at HMP Grendon, having worked for HMPPS since 1999, with men who have committed violent offences. She is also a visiting lecturer at Cardiff Metropolitan University and the University of Birmingham as well as a PhD supervisor and examiner and trainee supervisor.

In addition, Geraldine is a Trustee for the Safer Living Foundation and a TC Specialist for the Royal College of Psychiatrists, and has received an award for her Distinguished Contribution to Forensic Psychology.

Lisa Newson

Health Psychology

Louise Langman

Independent Practice

Ingram Wright


Bio to follow

Ivor Crothers

Northern Ireland

Bio to follow

Janet Fraser

Occupational Psychology

Janet Fraser is a Chartered Psychologist and an HCPC registered Occupational Psychologist.

She is the current chair of the BPS Division of Occupational Psychology and has been leading the Working Differently workstream of the Society’s response to the Covid-19 Pandemic.  Prior to that, Janet was Chair Elect and then Chair of DOP Scotland.

A lifelong learner, psychology is a second career for her made possible through studying at the Open University and then Birkbeck, University of London.  She was able to complete her qualification in occupational psychology while working for the NHS in a role that focused on improving policy and practice for dignity at work and management of stress at work. She subsequently set up her own consultancy.

Janet has been trained in mediation and has an interest in organisational fairness and constructive approaches to workplace conflict. Evidence-based practice is a long-standing interest for her, and she has facilitated learning opportunities for DOP members on topics such as supervision, professional identity and mental health at work.

In her BPS roles, she continues to be active in encouraging collaboration between different domains of psychology and her ambitions for occupational psychology include reducing and, if possible, removing barriers to qualification and supporting new opportunities that allow candidates to reach their potential.

Alison McMullan


Bio to follow

Dilys White

Wider Psychological Workforce


With our workstreams, the Practice Board aims to establish, promote and support best practice in the delivery of psychological services.

Advisory Groups

Advisory groups are made up of members from across the domains with expertise in the relevant area and membership has a tenure of 3 years. Advisory groups are expected to continue long term and keep a watching brief over issues, proving advice to members and staff. They may also produce guidance or similar. View more information about our advisory groups: 

Task and Finish Groups

Task and finish groups are set up to complete discreet pieces of work and are then disbanded.

The formation of a task and finish group goes through seven stages:

  1. Recruitment
  2. Scoping
  3. Drafting
  4. Practice Board review
  5. Consultation
  6. Final editing
  7. Design Team review
Current Task and Finish Groups
  • Assessment, Formulation, and Diagnosis
  • Assistant Psychologist
  • Memory
  • Physical Health
  • Practice Guidelines
  • Sexuality, Gender, and Relationship Diversity
  • Specific Learning Difficulties Assessment
  • Supervision

    If you would  like to find out more about our workstreams, contact the Practice team.


    The Practice Board has three awards annually. We also run a grant for Black and Asian psychologists. View the awards and grants page for more information.

    Getting involved and more information

    You can view a list of FAQs relevant to the Practice Board, see the guidance library and find volunteer opportunities on our jobs page. The Practice Team also answers practice queries.

    If you can’t resolve your query with the FAQs, please contact the Practice team.

    Document production & Publication Process

    The information provided here outlines the process for the production and publication of documents under the Practice Board (PB). This will include documents commissioned by the board and those from elsewhere following the PB governance.

    PB document commissioning

    The PB uses horizon scanning to identify issues and gaps. We look at proposals for new work streams to meet the needs of these issues. The proposals outline the background of the issue, the details of what is needed, any resource requirements and time considerations. The proposals are discussed for approval at PB meetings by the whole Board. Due to the staff numbers in the Practice Team there will be a maximum of 8 projects in progress at any one time. This means that some projects may be approved but put on hold while other work is finished.

    PB Task & Finish Groups

    Once a document is commissioned a task and finish group will be set up to do the work.

    1. The Practice Team will do a pre-mortem risk assessment to identify any risks and mitigations

    2. The Practice Team will map internal stakeholders

    3. The Practice Team will consider the knowledge and expertise needed in the group membership including:

    • Domains of practice
    • Contexts of practice
    • Clients
    • Lived experience
    • Other specific experience

    4. There will be a society wide call out for chair and members

    • BPS website
    • Advert in The Psychologist magazine
    • Member update e-mail
    • Member network newsletters

    5. Applicants will be invited to submit a statement of interest via Microsoft forms to detail:

    • Their knowledge and experience
    • How they work in a group to reach consensus
    • How they embed equality, diversity and inclusion into the work

    6. Dependent on the risk of the work, established during the pre-mortem, applications may be anonymised following the Anonymised Recruitment Process

    7. Applications are usually judged by the Practice Team. Dependent on the risk established during the pre-mortem, other staff or members may also be included in this process.

    8. Applicants will be matched with the previously identified requirements and further call outs may be made where there are gaps.

    9. Task and finish groups usually have 8-10 members but may have up to 15 dependent on the topic.

    PB Document Production

    1. Task & Finish Groups will meet 4 times per year, usually online.
    2. The first one or two meetings will be used to establish the scope of the document and map the relevant external stakeholders.
    3. The group will decide who drafts the document. Usually this is done by small groups writing different sections however it can sometimes be drafted by one member or the chair with the group providing evidence and commenting on the work.
    4. Practice Team staff will oversee the work, attending each meeting and ensuring the BPS house style and policies are adhered to.
    5. The group may consult with experts or groups outside the group (including people with lived experience) and outside the BPS if they wish to at any point to enhance the work.
    6. The document may be sent to internal stakeholders dependent on risk.
    7. Authors (and contributors) must give individual written consent for their names to appear as authors in the final document

    Member Network and Member documents

    1. Individual members or member networks wishing to produce a document should speak to BPS staff before starting work. This ensures:
      - Maximum impact
      - Support with governance
      - Management of expectations
      - Any resource considerations
      - Risk management
    2. Practice Team staff can provide support during document production to advise on BPS style, policies and governance. 
    3. Practice Team staff can sometimes help with final editing dependent on resource.
    4. Practice Team can facilitate collaboration with BPS members from other domains
    5. The main drafting will be done, organised and lead by BPS members
    6. The draft document can be shared and consulted upon throughout the process as necessary, again managed by the authors.

    PB Governance

    Documents from Task & Finish Groups and those from member networks or individual members will all follow the same governance process.

    1. The final draft will be sent to the Practice Board for approval to consultation.

    • This can usually be done by email between board meetings to avoid delays, but some documents may need to wait for a meeting dependent on risk.
    • The board may recommend amendments before consultation.

    2. The document will be open for society-wide consultation.

    • On the BPS website
    • In member update emails
    • In member network newsletters
    • Consultations will be open for at least 4 weeks (this may be extended depending on time of year or topic)

    3. Consultation comments will be attended to and audited.

    • All comments will be put into one document. The author(s) will note how they have attended to each comment.
    • Authors do not have to take action for every comment but they do need to justify why they are not taking action
    • The document will be amended according to the comments and audit.

    4. The final draft and consultation audit will be sent to the PB chair who will sign off the final document. This sign off is of the process rather than the content of the document. In the case where the Chair has a conflict of interest and is unable to sign off final drafts, this can be done by the deputy PB chair or another Trustee dependent on the risk of the topic.

    Document publication

    1. Final drafts will be sent to the BPS design team and they will format the document into house style.
      - Authors will see and approve the proof before publication.
    2. The BPS communications team will help with a communications plan suitable for each document.
    3. The web editing team will place the final document on the BPS website.

    Interim Document Review Process

    This document outlines the process for reviewing BPS documents at the interim stage of the usual quinquennial review cycle.

    Documents reaching 2.5 years after publication will be checked by BPS staff with member involvement to consider:

    • Has there been any feedback received about the document?
    • Has there been a change in legislation, technology or practice?

    If yes to either of the above, would this be sufficient to mean that the document is inaccurate or unfit for purpose and therefore in need of review?

    Documents identified as needing review will then follow the below process.

    1. Contact the original contributors and ask if willing to participate in the review, either as author or peer reviewer. Aim for at least 4 authors
    2. Call out for further review group members if necessary – follow usual recruitment process
    3. Ensure any feedback and new evidence is included as part of review
    4. Review draft to be peer reviewed by at least 3 people with expertise in the relevant area. Assess risk of topic and consider:
      - whether previous authors are appropriate or if independence is needed
      - whether to send to external organisations
      - whether to send to experts by experience
    5. Comments from peer reviewers must be audited using usual consultation audit process.
    6. Final draft and peer review audit to be sent to PB chair for sign off
    7. Approved draft sent to design team
    Frequently asked questions
    • I live outside the UK and would like to work with someone in the UK using tele therapy – what do I need to do?

      We are aware that working across international boundaries is becoming more common.

      Psychologists in the UK are regulated by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC). If you are not based in the UK, your practice would not be governed by UK law (which requires practitioners to register with the health and care professions council) but we would expect that you would make it clear to prospective patients of where you are based and, as such, your practice would be regulated there. We also expect that psychologists have indemnity insurance cover for all their work.

      With regards tele therapy specifically, the UK has no legislation or guidance governing the use of tele therapy other than an expectation that psychologists consider the security and confidentiality of individual software being used.

      Contact us

      If you have any queries, please contact [email protected].

    • I live in the UK and would like to work with someone abroad – is that ok?

      From a UK perspective, you are allowed to practice with clients outside the UK.

      If you will be using one of the titles protected by UK law (Clinical Psychologist, Counselling Psychologist, Educational Psychologist, Forensic Psychologist, Health Psychologist, Occupational Psychologist or Sport and Exercise Psychologist) you will need to be registered with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC).

      You would need to check with the body for psychologists in the country where your client resides to see what obligations they may have for psychologists. We don’t keep a list of these however a google search can often be useful to help you find the relevant body which could be a regulator or a professional body. You should make it clear to your client that you are based in the UK.

      We also expect that all aspects of a psychologist’s work are covered by indemnity insurance so please check with your insurer to ensure your work is covered.  

      Contact us

      If you have any queries, please contact [email protected].

    • What professional title can I use?

      The Health and Care Professions Council regulated several protected Practitioner Psychologist titles. There are other titles which psychologists may consider using in their work.

      Our Practice Guidelines state: 

      “Psychologists are encouraged to state their registration with the HCPC and protected title(s). This will provide assurance that the psychologist meets national standards of training and professional skills. 

      The term ‘consultant’ generally does not have a formal definition. Within the medical field it is used by doctors who have considerable experience and proven expertise demonstrated through examination within their respective Royal Colleges. 
      While there is no clear comparable grading structure for psychologists outside the NHS (within the NHS, the consultant title is used by psychologists who are employed in Band 8C, 8D and 9 positions), the use of this title would be seen to reflect both seniority and specialist expertise. 

      There is a difference between a ‘consultant’ psychologist and a psychologist who provides consultations in their context of practice. The Society expects that psychologists should be honest and accurate in representing their professional affiliations and qualifications, including such matters as knowledge, skill, training, education and experience. 

      The society’s position is that this would be applicable in any situation where expert knowledge or skills is being marketed or promoted, whether or not this is for financial gain. Further information is available in Society Document: Guidance on the use of the title ‘Consultant Psychologist’.”

      Contact us

      If you have any queries, please contact [email protected].

    • My client has disclosed a crime, do I have to tell the police?

      Clients may disclose a crime in their past either as a victim or an offender.

      Our Practice Guidelines state:

      “Clients are entitled to expect that the information they give to psychologists about themselves and others will remain confidential. Psychologists have a duty not to disclose such information except as discussed below and to bring their confidentiality practice to the attention of their clients, employers, managers and any other professionals involved. 

      Psychologists have a duty to inform involved parties of their confidentiality standards and practice at the point of first contact. Clients should be informed of the limits of confidentiality where information about them may be shared and confidentiality breached, for example for reasons of safeguarding, requirements of the law, and public protection.” 

      If disclosure of information is deemed necessary, psychologists should obtain specific informed consent from their clients, making the consequences of disclosure as clear and unbiased as possible. There are a number of circumstances where this might not be possible or may not apply: for example where the health, safety, security or welfare of the client or someone else may otherwise be put at risk; and if there are legal or safeguarding responsibilities, such as the need to avoid ‘tipping off’. If confidentiality is broken without consent, the client should be told what has been said and to whom, unless such disclosure may expose the client or others to serious harm or is contrary to legal or safeguarding obligations. 

      Psychologists who are faced with the difficult decision as to whether to disclose information without a client’s consent must weigh carefully the arguments for and against disclosure. The responsibility for this decision lies with the individual psychologist. 

      Disclosure without consent, or against the client’s expressed wish may be necessary in situations in which failure to disclose appropriate information would expose the client, or someone else, to a risk of serious harm (including physical or sexual abuse) or death. 

      The psychologist must weigh up the needs and interests of their own client against the wider welfare, protection and safeguarding of the public.

      Contact us

      If you have any queries, please contact [email protected].

    • My client has died, what shall I do?

      Clients may die during or after working with a psychologist, and you may be contacted regarding any information you hold.

      Our Practice Guidelines state: 

      “After a client’s death, relatives or other authorities may seek access to the psychologist’s records. In the first instance, the psychologist is advised to follow organisational procedures where they exist which usually deal with the administrative proofs required such as proof of death, proof of kinship and right to access the material requested."

      A psychologist’s duty of confidentiality continues after a client has died. The psychologist will need to weigh up the circumstances around the request for disclosure and what personal information is being sought. If there has been a specific request by the client for their information to remain confidential, their wishes should usually be respected. If the psychologist is unaware of any instructions from the client, when considering requests for information the following should be taken into account: 

      • The purpose of the disclosure
      • Whether the disclosure of information is likely to cause distress to, or be of benefit to, the   client’s partner or families
      • The permission of a surviving relative or next of kin is not required, and does not authorise disclosure of confidential information, although the views of those who were close to the client may help the psychologist decide if disclosure is appropriate
      • Whether the disclosure will also disclose information about the client’s family or anyone else
      • Whether the information is already public knowledge or can be anonymised or coded

      There may be circumstances where the disclosure of information is required, for example: 

      • To support an inquest or fatal accident inquiry
      • Where the disclosure is required by law, is authorised under section 251 of the NHS Act 2006, or is justified in the public interest, such as for education or research
      • In the case of national confidential inquiries or for local clinical audit
      • When a person has a right of access to records under the Access to Health Records

      Contact us

      If you have any queries, please contact [email protected].